Discover Harry’s First Years at Hogwarts at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

As Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone taught us, an 11th birthday is a supremely magical occasion in the wizarding world. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is making a point to carry on this tradition by celebrating its 11th year running with a special summer feature appropriately named Discovering Hogwarts.



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As previously reported, Discovering Hogwarts invites guests to travel back in time to experience some of Harry’s first moments at Hogwarts as cast members would have seen them on the set of the first film. For example, fans will be able to take in the Great Hall in all its glory, adorned with over 400 floating candles hung with an excess of three miles of wire.

Guests will also have the opportunity to practice their wand skills and spell pronunciation with a trip to Professor Flitwick’s Charms classroom. The new set perfectly encapsulates the scene where young wizards endeavor to master the Levitation Charm, Wingardium Leviosa, as well as reveals the practical methods used by special effects supervisor John Richardson to make objects fly. And yes, there will be time to practice the classic swish-and-flick wand motion essential to the charm.

As Harry said in the second film, “There’s no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid.” Discovering Hogwarts agrees with this sentiment and as such will provide a live demonstration to show visitors the movie magic used to raise Robbie Coltrane to the towering stature of the beloved character. We can hint that the process has less to do with giant’s blood and more to do with rugby player Martin Bayfield, who casts quite a shadow as just two inches shy of seven feet tall.

Other interactive experiences are included in the feature. Visitors of all ages are certain to enjoy creating an origami Sorting Ceremony chatterbox to take home. A new photo opportunity depicting Harry’s journey across the Black Lake in his first year will also be available to those wishing to preserve the memory.



Discovering Hogwarts will take place between May 2 and September 4 of this year. The extra features are included in the Studio Tour ticket price, which must be purchased in advance.

Press Release
Exploring Harry’s early years at wizarding school, Discovering Hogwarts will run at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter from 2nd May [to] 4th September 2023

 Just like a Hogwarts student would, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will celebrate its 11th year with an invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Brand new for 2023, visitors will be invited to explore Harry’s early years at Hogwarts with some of their favourite scenes brought to life at the Studio Tour for this special feature.

For the first time since filming, over 400 floating candles will adorn the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall, giving visitors a chance to step into the set just as the cast would have seen it during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. During filming over twenty years ago, real, lit candles were used for the scene. However, for the safety of the cast and crew, [p]roducers decided to add them later during post-production [sic]. For this special feature, the candles (which have been adapted by the talented Special Effects Department to use a light effect instead of a live flame) have been hung with over three miles of wire.

During the feature, fans will be welcomed into one of Harry’s first experiences of magic: Professor Flitwick’s Charms class. A new set depicting the iconic scene in which a young Harry, Ron and Hermione learn to master [the Levitation Charm] will be revealed, sharing the filmmaking secrets behind the floating feathers. Created using practical effects rather than CGI, the magic was as simple as stringing a feather onto a fishing line. A technique described by [s]pecial [e]ffects [s]upervisor John Richardson as ‘’going back to the silent movie era.” Fans will also have the chance to practice their wand skills as they learn the movement behind casting the famous [Levitation Charm].

Among the first wizards Harry meets [is] beloved half-giant Hagrid. While actor Robbie Coltrane stood at 6ft, he was not quite tall enough to portray a half-giant. During many scenes, 6ft 10” England rugby player Martin Bayfield was used as a body double fitted with stilts and a prosthetic head to achieve Hagrid’s towering height. During Discovering Hogwarts, a live demonstration of this process will show visitors how the half-giant was brought to life right in front of their eyes.

Interactive experiences throughout the feature will tell the story of Harry’s first experiences in the wizarding world. Fans of all ages are invited to get hands[-]on and create an origami ‘Sorting Ceremony’ chatterbox to take away, as well as taking [sic] a seat in a new photo opportunity depicting Harry’s first boat journey to Hogwarts.

Discovering Hogwarts is a special feature [that] will run from 2nd May [to] 4th September 2023 and is included in the ticket price.